LAWRENCEVILLE – An ice storm hit Brunswick County and the surrounding area on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021 leaving major damage and massive power outages in its wake. Customers in all three power companies, Dominion Energy, Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, and Southside Electric Cooperative were left without power some for longer than a week. Power outages continued at press time on Monday, Feb. 22.
Jeremy L. Slayton, Media Relations, Dominion Energy, said 2,276 customers in Brunswick were impacted by the storm and provided more information.
“An ice storm passed through the Dominion Energy service territory, including Brunswick County, last Saturday, February 13, bringing significant damage, including downed power lines, broken poles and fallen trees. It was the most damaging and widespread ice storm we have seen in Virginia since January 2000.
“Ice slows down the power restoration process because it causes extremely dangerous travel conditions and makes some areas nearly impossible to access. The weight of the ice also burdens trees and tree limbs causing them to fall creating outages and hazardous working conditions. Crews must work cautiously to protect customers and themselves.
“Major ice storms have the potential to cause more damage and more challenging working conditions than a hurricane. A fast-moving hurricane rolls through and the damage is done; but when we have freezing rain for days, ice accumulation gradually builds up and outages continue to occur even as crews make repairs,” Slayton stated.
David Lipscomb, Vice President of Member and Energy Services, Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, provided daily updates on the recovery process.
On Feb. 18, 2021 he said, “Our restoration teams are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. At the start of Winter Storm Tabitha, which goes down as the most destructive (from a utility equipment perspective), in MEC’s history, 2/3 of MEC’s system, 19,000 accounts, from Greensville to Pittsylvania County were out. Crews have battled back from that point and barring further damage tonight, we anticipate restoration of the remaining 1,800 members to be substantially complete by tomorrow. Forecasts indicate lighter accumulation for our hardest hit areas of Pittsylvania and northern Halifax County were the most substantial damage was reported. Significant progress has been made today in those areas as numerous poles have been replaced, trees have been removed, and lines have been repaired and returned to their rightful position atop the pole.
“Our restoration in Brunswick, Charlotte, Lunenburg, Greensville, and Mecklenburg indicate additional ice accumulation expected tonight and into tomorrow. ”Truly, this ice storm has been historic for Southside Virginia as all service providers serving the region continue to restore service. Rest assured, your crews will work diligently until all service is restored.” Lipscomb stated.
To read the entire article pick up the Feb. 24, 2021 edition of the Brunswick Times-Gazette.